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The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

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Volume 40, Issue 4


Help me. I am so alone.” Online emotional self-disclosure in shared coping-processes of children and adolescents on social networking platforms.

Katrin Döveling
Published Online: 2015-11-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2015-0018


Losing a close relative or friend is a traumatic event for anyone, especially for children and adolescents. This article investigates the motives and patterns of children’s and adolescents’ interpersonal online communication on bereavement platforms. A qualitative content analysis of two different youth bereavement platforms (n = 21 threads; 319 postings) illuminates how one common feature is the verbalization and illustration of missing support in the offline world. The substantial usage of social network platforms can be considered an extension of children’s and adolescents’ personal social environment. Furthermore, topics on bereavement platforms ultimately go beyond grief, as children and adolescents also include emotions such as hope, gratitude and cohesiveness. Communication within online bereavement communities thus enables a process known from offline communication as transformation from a loss-oriented to restoration-oriented coping (Stroebe and Schut 2010, p. 277).

Keywords: social network sites (SNS); emotions online; children and adolescents; bereavement platforms; interpersonal communication; social sharing of emotions

About the article

Published Online: 2015-11-02

Published in Print: 2015-11-01

Citation Information: Communications, Volume 40, Issue 4, Pages 403–423, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2015-0018.

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